Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Woman on a Mission

Originally published in Runners Feed
Written by: Chantelle Wilder

Does running find us or do we find running? In the case of Nova Scotian, Michelle Kempton, running not only found her, but it wrapped her up, spun her around, and dropped her off at the start line of what has turned into thousands of miles and the transforming of her life and now many other’s lives!

With running as her catalyst, Kempton lost 120 pounds, off her former 5’4, 285 pound frame and kept on going. In previous articles, Kempton uses humour to explain her former figure, but it was fear that caused her to make a change.

Numerous publications have covered the race directing, clinic hosting, web-designing mommy, and explain the undulating journey that brought Michelle to where is now (Read Stories)

At Runners Feed we are particularly interested in part two of Michelle’s journey which involves the founding of United by Running and the hosting of three Canadian Maritime road races: Sole Sisters Women’s Race (June), Maritime Race Weekend (September) and the upcoming Lucky 7 Relay on November 18th.

The first 2 events sold old (1500 & 2000 runners respectively) with hundreds of runners put on waiting lists. Needless to say the events were huge hits with the Canadian maritime running scene and the Lucky 7 Relay is 50% full already! (Register now!)

Why the Success? You ask…

Kempton and co-founder Stacy Chesnutt, set out with the goal of revolutionizing the road running scene by creating opportunities for runners to run more joyfully, with less stress and more fun.

Let me explain…

The inaugural Sole Sisters race this past June was for women only and took on the theme of “no clock, no watch”. That’s not to say that United by Running races aren’t interested in fast times and watching their athletes improve; they just make fun the priority. Kempton and Chesnutt took this idea to a whole new level when they required elites to make room on the front of the start line for the best-dressed pirates at the Maritime Race Weekend!

United by Running races have also gained a reputation for sparing no expense when it comes to pre-race giveaways and post-race refreshments and medals.

As runners themselves, they recognized that runners’ closets are overflowing with race t-shirts and decided to offer something unique and practical for their upcoming fall race: Lucky 7 Relay Branded Running Sleeves!

The Lucky 7 Relay

The upcoming Lucky 7 Relay welcomes 3-person relay teams that complete a half marathon (21k) with each runner taking on their own 7-kilometer leg of the race. (See Course Map)

How has this series gained so much momentum so quickly?

The secret is in the race directing team. These women genuinely care about their runners and the race day experience of all stakeholders (athletes, charity partners, sponsors etc.) They listen to what their participants want and do their very best to provide it!

United by Running also does an excellent job of connecting with their runners, and sponsors all year long via social media channels like facebook and Twitter! They are an excellent role model for all race directors and we suggest everyone start following them! (@unitedbyrunning)

We highly recommend throwing together a 3-person team for the Lucky 7 Relay on November 18th and if you can’t coerce 2 buddies into joining your team, don’t fret, race directors have offered to build teams out of solo runners on race morning!

Yes folks, this race directing team is that good!

Learn more about the Lucky 7 Relay and United by Running

Also, be sure to check out Michelle Kempton’s blog. You won’t be disappointed!

About the Author: Chantelle Wilder is the Senior Editor and Co-Founder of Runners Feed. She also competes for the New Balance Silicon Valley Club in the Bay Area of California. When she isn’t running, or editing she can be found enjoying the fruitful wines of nearby Napa Valley while challenging her husband to a game of Bananagrams®.